Mesa Muttonhead

The veterinary vulture asks, is it merely hoof-in-mouth disease or the ravings of a racist dumb-ass?

Maybe Shirley thought the bow-tied bonehead would help him in his current reelection bid against opponent Linda Lovejoy, who aims to make history by kickin' the Big Kahuna to the curb and becoming the first female Navajo Nation prez ever.

After talking to Lovejoy last month, this beak-bearer figured she's no brain surgeon but must be better than that schmo Shirley. But now Lovejoy's proved she's a boob, too.

See, on October 10 at a candidate forum in Albuquerque, Lovejoy was asked to explain her stance on abortion and gay marriage. You'd think Lovejoy'd been asked to do calculus on the spot sans calculator. The chick choked like a dog on a chicken bone.

"I'm anti-abortion on an individual basis," she stammered, with more umms and ahhs than The Bird has room to reproduce. "But I know families whose children have gone through abortion . . . but personally I would not tolerate it except when a person doesn't have a choice."

Safe enough answer, despite the Navajo pol's near incoherence. But her remarks on homosexual rights made her sound like some 19th-century eugenicist.

"I feel the same way about that as I feel about abortion," spat Lovejoy. "I know we are all . . . some of our children are born with physical impairments and it's not the baby's fault. That person is special. I feel the same way about sexual orientation."

You read right, bird brains. Lovejoy compared being gay to being a 'tard?

Mental lightweight Lovejoy shoulda seen the question coming. The issue's been hugely political in the Navajo Nation since 2005 when the Navajo Council voted to ban gay marriage on the reservation. President Shirley vetoed the legislation, and the subject's still a big deal with the Dine. (Dine's what the Navajo people call themselves.)

As Shirley flack George Hardeen pointed out to this pesky pelican, the council's gay-marriage ban drew international press, so why did Lovejoy sound so friggin' lost?

"It would strike me that anyone seeking the highest office on Navajo Land would be aware of the biggest issue the council faced in 2005," Hardeen tweeted.

And where does Shirley stand?

"He feels that's an individual issue and the government has no place in interfering in a person's lifestyle," offers the mouthpiece.

For her part, Lovejoy has tried to clarify her comments. Her abortion message remains the same: "I'm pro-life. However, in case of things that are rape or something of that nature, I can understand a need to abort a child."

But when it comes to gay rights, she coos a different birdsong, lying her ass off, even though she's on video at the event:

"That's not what I said. I said that at another rally because the reason I said that was because Joe Shirley's group is criticizing me of stuttering," she says. "Maybe I'm born with impairments. Does that mean that you're disrespecting other people with some sort of handicap?"

A handicap like, uh, being born gay, Linda? That's the comparison you made, remember? Maybe this matchmaking macaw should hook Lovejoy up with skinhead Pearce. They have so much in common. Both are pro-life, both hate gays and both suffer from congenital hoof-in-mouth disease.

Trouble in Paradise

Remember the old days, when the mob ran casinos, and gambling was actually cool? (Sigh . . .) Now it's mostly blue-haired ladies in stretch pants and BluBlockers. All 'cause the government wants to regulate it and get its pie-slice by pushing out those with so-called questionable ties. Why, if it hadn't been for the syndicate, there'd be no Vegas! No bright lights, casinos without clocks, or Wayne Newton. Haven't we learned by now that only crooks, or those tied to them, know how to run gambling joints the right way?

Go tell it to the AZ Department of Gaming, which recently nixed Jeremy Simms' proposal to add off-track betting to Indian casinos. In a recent report, gaming czars deemed Simms, owner of horse-racing mecca Turf Paradise, unsuitable because of "his history of inappropriate and corrupt dealings with state officials in California, his dishonest business activities, his questionable personal associations and his false statements."

Jesus H. Christ, nobody's perfect!

This tenacious toucan nabbed a copy of the report, which was filled with all kinds of juicy tidbits. Turns out Simms bribed a member of the California Coastal Commission, helped a couple of California pols extort a developer, and lent "large sums of money" to a "mob frontman" named Allen Glick. (No relation to Martin Short's corpulent comedic character Jiminy Glick.) Glick, movie buffs will tell you, was the inspiration for "Mr. Green" in Martin Scorsese's Casino. That's the kind of stuff that gets people's attention, especially in Phoenix, where we haven't had a big-time mob-style killing since the death of Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles.

But Simms has got more probs than this beef with government gaming dweebs. Now the AZ Department of Racing's getting into the act. Seems every four years, it conducts racetrack reviews of pony palaces. Before Racing Director Geoffrey Gonsher took over, the process used to be a slam dunk for racetrack owners. But these days, Gonsher demands thorough inspections. Turf Paradise passed the stricter test in 2003, but it's still in the midst of round two, which began this summer. Gonsher won't talk details, but the Gaming report can't help, or so this earth-scratcher figures.

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